August 04, 2016 —

Values, traditions and healthy relationships can strengthen a family bond. These building blocks provide strong moral and ethical principles for the entire family while also helping to better each individual member within the family. Strong relationship skills and behaviors emerge with the support of a healthy home life. 

For example, my grandparents would routinely say, “A family that prays together stays together.” With this continuous affirmation, my grandparents, my mom and my aunts formed a bond of commitment with each other. The family values passed on from one generation to the next provided me with the understanding of how to form a common purpose with my own family. 

A family that contributes to a common purpose provides affection, support and emotional strength toward one another. Ideas passed from one generation to the next set an example of how to thrive with teamwork, love and play. The core lessons for family beliefs and understanding starts with us, the parents. If values are not clarified, parenting can be confusing, frustrating and imbalanced.

Parents who monitor their child's learning experiences have the opportunity to guide their child into honoring family values. For example, parents can encourage their child to volunteer in the community (neighborhood, school, church, etc.) in ways that support their family values. This can prevent detachment and participation in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse.

Consider writing a mission statement that defines your core family values. Good friends of mine have their values framed and posted on a kitchen wall for their children to view daily. “In this home we are obedient, kind, caring, compassionate, independent and responsible.”

A few examples of family values include social, political, religious, work, moral and recreational values. Share your thoughts with your children. Be open-minded that their opinions will change as they grow, and they may not always agree with you. Create a positive environment. Welcome new opinions. An environment like this will encourage children to speak up without fear of judgment.

Ultimately, defining family values shows the pride and responsibility parents take for how they want their children to grow and flourish. 

Crystal Horton is an author and family strategist. She educates and encourages families to better manage their time, resources and patience. Her book, Stretch Marks, continues to be a viable resource for parents raising children between the ages 3 and 10. You can follow Crystal on Twitter and Facebook.